LEARNING TO LOVE LIKE JESUS
Love and Compassion, A Visual Exploration
Akiane Kramarik has described herself as a visionary journalist. Using paint and canvas, to report what she sees both in the heavenly realms and in cultures throughout the world. Akiane tells us with each brushstroke that her heart’s desire is to paint beauty and share hope.
It is a common desire to share hope and beauty. Cultivating the practice of faith, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion by focusing on the Lord and putting others first is the path of many everyday missionaries. May you be encouraged along your path as you learn to love others in the ways that Jesus does.
Here are just a few painting by Akiane Kramarik that can teach us of different types of love and compassion:
Akiane painted Jesus' mother, Mary in the painting titled Mother’s Love - showing the sweet love of a mother and her newborn child.
"Father Forgive Them" pictures Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane lifting his hands and asking his Heavenly Father to forgive those who betrayed Him prior to being crucified
Father God's Love:
"Prince of Peace" (also known as the resurrection painting of Jesus) cannot be described with words. Jesus Christ embodies the everlasting love of God. His love is well described in "A Father Love Letter" in a short video you can watch here:
Of all the virtues taught throughout the Bible, none is so abundant as compassion and Godly love! Bearing another’s burdens is a high calling that Jesus modeled throughout his ministry.
What is Compassion?
If you enjoy exploring the depths of words meaning: Compassion is defined as an enigmatic and powerful emotion. UCADIA describes compassion as “…the physical synchronization of two people (or more) in the presence of one another in the present moment.” Hailing from the Latin stem compati, Compassion means to “suffer with” or to have “co-suffering.” To translate even further, Compassion means to have sympathy and empathy, even pity, for others.
Paul put it simply in Galatians 6:2 when he said:
Jesus empathized with people. He was the living embodiment of his Father’s unconditional love. Race and economic status meant nothing to Him; Jesus always has and always will have time for everyone.
How to Love Like Jesus?
Jesus set the perfect standard that we often fall short of - yet for the sake of having compassion even for ourselves, we must remember He understands our imperfections, we make mistakes, and He realizes our human frailties. However, because of his grace and example, we strive and do our best to be as compassionate, forgiving, and kind as He is. Jesus showed compassion not merely through words or His tears, but also by demonstrating His love through his actions.
Compassion is the emotion that compels us to help others in need. Whether it is to give a few dollars to the homeless, run food drives and charities, let the exhausted woman skip ahead of you in line, are helpful to someone who has wronged you, or to hold a friend as their world crumbled around them. When you practice compassion, kindness, and forgiveness, you love as Jesus loves. Compassion brings people together through love and forgiveness. It is the golden rule in action as we intentionally remember to “Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31) by overcoming selfishness and ego and listening, loving and lending a hand.
Love your neighbor as you would yourself.
“Faith in action is love, and love in action is service. By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God Himself, with Jesus our Lord.”
By demonstrating loving-kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, and compassion, we allow the love of Jesus to flow through us. We are called to love one another as we love ourselves. When we love ourselves with the same compassion as the Lord loves us, we begin to understand what Jesus said when he taught us to pray. Thy kingdom, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.